My name is Teresa Izzard.
Theatre Director and Laban/Bartenieff Movement Coach
I’m a British theatre artist who has been based in Australia since 1997. I am the creative producer and artistic director of Feet First Collective, a trainee dramaturg with Playwriting Australia and The Blue Room Theatre and a proud member of the inaugural Australian Director’s Lab. I hold a PhD in Theatre Direction and am a Theatre Arts Lecturer at Curtin University where I am a resident director and specialise in movement for actors, dramaturgy and creative producing.
Growing up in Bedfordshire and North London, my love of theatre came from some amazing drama workshops I did as a child, as well as ballet and music lessons. My friends and I created theatre on the fly after school, on weekends and in the holidays. I directed my first ever piece to the soundtrack of Duran Duran’s ‘Wild Boy’s’ which we performed for our parents. Later I was a member of The Young Vic Youth Theatre for three years where I acted, stage managed and was selected to co-direct Lorca’s ‘Blood Wedding’. Following the dissolution of that company a group of us founded The Young Theatre Company which went on to produce Lorca’s ‘When Five Years Pass’ at The Emery Theatre as well as finding support from Ray Cooney’s Playhouse Theatre and eventually The National Theatre’s Youth and Education Unit. At The National I was involved in the early stages of the National Connections projects and was the assistant director for Suzy Graham-Adriani’s production of Deidre Strath’s ‘Goblin Market’. This history is the foundation of my passion for theatre of young people and mentoring emerging artists.
Right from the beginning my interest was in theatre that combined movement, music and stories. Working with Lorna Marshall in the early 90s catapulted me into an exploration of training actors through movement as well as integrating these approaches into my directorial work. In 2006 I moved to New York for the privilege of studying at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies. Returning to Australia I have reinvigorated my directing through the integration of these studies into my approach to rehearsal. Most recently I was selected to attend the SITI Company Summer Intensive in New York. This experience led to the integration of viewpoints and composition into my most recent creative processes. I believe that every movement can resonate with the dramaturgy and DNA of the work and I’m continually experimenting with this as an artistic philosophy. I consider this a life long journey which some days I feel like I am only just beginning! Most recently Frankenstein: Some Assembly Required was the inaugural production of Feet First Collective which I founded in late 2015. An ambitious, immersive work it was commissioned by The Moores Building Art Gallery as part of the 2016 Fremantle Festival.
I make theatre to collaborate – over an idea, within a process. I make theatre to create – poetry for the stage, the potential for transformation. I make theatre to connect - with artists, audiences and the world.
“Teresa has found a living and unique way of incorporating her movement techniques into her theatre practice. This makes her very ‘physical’ theatre performances mesmerising and an edge-of-your-seat experience.” (Silvia Lehmann, Director)
'Teresa's productions stand out in the Perth theatre scene due to their emotional and intellectual impact, she explores humanity, both the good and the bad, with visceral force. The focus in her productions is firmly on the interactions on stage between, and within, the characters. The emphasis on movement and physical presence is a marker of a Teresa Izzard production, it's difficult for the audience to take their eyes off the action. While the attention during a show is drawn to the characters and movement, what I am ultimately left with after seeing a production is lingering questions about our world, past and present.' (Lia DeSousa, Teacher)
'Teresa Izzard is a gift to WA artists and audiences. My experience with Teresa over the past 15 years has been as her student, as a peer and an audience member of her profound works. Her movement training has influenced a generation of artists, giving voice to the body as our most powerful communicative tool. Her teaching in my early training shaped my own professional style as a director combining physical theatre, circus and contemporary dance with text. As a peer, I have borne witness to her practice, an intense collaboration founded on respect for the contributions all artists make to the creation of the work; and as an audience member, I have been moved by the visual power of the images she creates on stage. She is extraordinary.' (Karla Conway – Director, Dramaturg, Theatre-maker)